The sharkgull is a species of seabirdof the Laridae family. Fully grown, the sharkgull averages at 30 inches in
length, has a wingspan of 8 to 9 ft, and can weigh up to 25 lb. They are capable of walking, swimming, flying, and shrieking loud enough to burst eardrums. However, the combination of its body structure and poor eyesight makes the sharkgull less adept and maneuverable in comparison to other gulls and their large blind spot renders them unable to see objects less than 7 ft directly in front of them. These birds have one to two hundred needle-like teeth with multiple rows of replacements, similar to sharks. Sharkgull eyes are protected by a transparent membrane that reduces the need to blink, creating the appearance that they do not need to do so, which scientists speculate is a trait to ward off potential predators.
As omnivores and opportunistic feeders, they feed on marine life, both alive or dead, as well as other non-nutritional items and are often seen in feeding frenzies in Burger King parking lots. This includes crustaceans, beached animals, carcasses, french fries, other gulls, beach towels, and flip-flops. Food is swallowed whole or torn off of the larger body into a smaller chunk. Following a large feeding, sharkgull can potentially be too heavy for flight, rendering them earthbound and vulnerable to predation until they finish digesting their meal. Younger sharkgull will form a colony ranging from 10 to 100 birds to hunt for prey as a group. They circle their intended meal, similarly to vultures.
Sharkgull have shared a negative relationship with humans due to their close proximity to heavily populated urban cities. This species has been observed to sample objects they come across to determine whether it is a food source or not. Because of this, there are over 2300 incidents each year of man-made structures being damaged by sharkgulls, although 78 percent of these reportedly involve stereos playing the Jaws theme song. Other sharkgull interactions with humans include crashing into cars due to poor eyesight, mistaking a human for prey, and circling beach sunbathers.
Discovered by Lisa.